Living River Hosts First Ever Cahaba Connections Conference
On the edge of the Cahaba earlier this month, academic institutions, environmental organizations, government agencies and individuals throughout Central Alabama met to discuss the future of the river.
Living River’s first ever Cahaba Connection Conference was held May 15 near Montevallo at its new retreat and environmental education center. The conference was created to celebrate the Cahaba, collaborate with others to confront challenges the river faces and discuss how to educate others about the river’s importance.
According to the Cahaba River Society, the Cahaba is “Alabama’s longest remaining free-flowing river,” and needs protection from pollution, which causes the deaths of plant and animal life. Friday’s schedule offered panel discussions, information sessions and open space for visitors to make conversation. If participants chose to stay overnight, Saturday’s activities included canoeing the Cahaba, birdwatching, hiking around the center’s scenic landscape and enjoying the land’s biodiversity and heritage.
Participants were also welcomed to visit the Cahaba Lily Festival in nearby West Blocton. For more information on Living River and Cahaba Connections, visit livingriver.org. For more information about the Cahaba, visit cahabariversociety.org.
HICA Sponsors the Birmingham Barons
The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama invites Birmingham to “¡HICA! Night” to support “Los Barons” Saturday, June 13 at Regions Field. The Birmingham Barons will be playing The Chattanooga Lookouts at 6:30 p.m. ¡HICA!’s welcoming tent will be set up by the front gate of the stadium at 5 p.m. where baseball fans can pick up online ticket purchases and buy t-shirts with the “Los Barons” logo.
The night’s activities will include a pre-game video special dedicated to ¡HICA!, a performance by a mariachi band, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and a silent auction for special autographed “Los Barons” jerseys worn by the players to recognize the contributions of the Hispanic community. All proceeds of the auction will benefit ¡HICA!’s programs, which include asset building and economic development, community engagement and education, immigration and access to justice and family assistance.
June 13 will be also used car night and everyone attending will have a chance to enter to win one of four used cars that will be given away every other inning. Tickets are $15 each and come with a free Night with Los Barons t-shirt. First pitch will be at 6:15 p.m.
To purchase tickets online or for more information, visit hispanicinterest.org or the HICA office through Friday, June 12.
Alumni couple shows their love
Birmingham-Southern College received a $1 million gift from two of its long-time advocates and graduates, Dr. Peter and Derry Bunting, college officials announced Monday.
Derry Bunting, a 1969 elementary education graduate, and Peter Bunting, a 1966 biology graduate and retired physician, met at BSC. After finishing medical school at the University of Alabama, Peter Bunting took up surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard Medical School System. Once he returned to Birmingham, he worked with Bunting Plastic Surgery Clinic, as head of surgery and plastic surgery at Baptist Medical Center-Montclair, and on the UAB plastic surgery staff. The $1 million gift shows the confidence she and her husband have in the college’s future, said Derry Bunting.
“Birmingham-Southern has always been a very special place for us,” she said. “We fell in love there and also developed our life-long passion for learning there. Pete chose BSC for its unsurpassed reputation for preparing students for medical school, and I because I knew it would prepare me to be an educator. Unfortunately, Pete now has Alzheimer’s disease, but I know he joins me in our desire to support the next generation of students.”
The Buntings have served BSC over the years on the Board of Trustees, and in 2007 the couple created an endowed fund to support the Bunting Center for Engaged Study and Community Action. The center is the headquarters for the college’s nationally acknowledged service-learning programs where hundreds of BSC students have received hands-on learning experience each year by collaborating with the college’s community partners to complete course assignments, Exploration Term projects, outreach days and more.
Over the past years, the couple has supported BSC as members of the Endowment Builders Society and by creating the Derry Brice and Peter Douglas Bunting M.D. Endowed Scholarship, which helps pre-med students from single-parent households. The Buntings have also volunteered and taken up leadership positions in their community with Gateway, the Red Mountain Theater Company, Highlands School, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Alabama Ballet, the Alabama Symphony and Independent Presbyterian Church, among others.
“We are so grateful to the Buntings for their continued generosity to Birmingham-Southern,” said Gen. Charles C. Krulak, BSC’s outgoing president. “They both so clearly embody the college’s mission of developing men and women of character who give back to their communities, and they have provided enormous opportunities for students to follow the same path.”
YWCA’s annual leadership summer camp is underway
YWCA Central Alabama’s annual leadership summer camp, Anytown Alabama, is designed to help high school students become competent leaders so they can improve the inclusiveness in their schools and communities. The campers, or delegates, will come from all over the Greater Birmingham area to bring diversity in race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and neighborhood to the camp.
The delegates will work to cultivate an appreciation for other cultures and beliefs while also sharing their own, organizers said. YWCA Central hopes students will learn to handle difficult real-life scenarios with respect, kindness, and courage and leave the camp feeling like confident, emphatic leaders ready to stand strong for what they believe in. According to YWCA, Anytown students have a “positive impact on a school’s culture as they discourage intolerance and bullying and serve as allies for marginalized students.”
YWCA believes experience with diverse groups at Anytown will prepare students for a life of cultural sensitivity, giving them the understanding they need to communicate with different types of people. Anytown will be held May 31-June 6 at Camp Hargis in Chelsea, Alabama. For more information about Anytown, visit ywmcabham.org.
More than 2 Million Alabamians are guaranteed free preventive services
About 2,140,837 Alabamians, including 886,706 women and 422, 895 children, have private health insurance that covers recommended preventive services without sharing the cost with the patient, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Under the Affordable Care Act, most healthcare plans must cover recommended preventive services without out-of-pocket expense and access to free preventive services decreases as well as prevents chronic diseases, which helps Alabamians live healthier lives, HHS said.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more Alabamians have access to preventative services, including vaccinations, well-baby visits, and diabetes and blood pressure screenings,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “These services can substantially improve the health of families, and in some cases even save lives. We urge all individuals with healthcare coverage to take advantage of these services. This can make a tremendous difference in the health of Americans.”
Services include (but are not limited to): blood pressure screening, obesity screening and counseling, well-baby, well-child, and well-woman visits, flu vaccination and other immunizations, tobacco cessations interventions, domestic violence screening and child counseling, vision screening for children, breastfeeding support and supplies, HIV screening, FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and depression screening.
For more information visit http://aspe.hhs.gov.